Francine (2012)

Academy Award winner Melissa Leo gives a fierce and restrained performance as Francine, a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison. Taking a series of jobs working with animals,… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 12, 2012
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Critic Score: 60% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

While it's audacious on the part of the filmmakers (and of Leo) to keep Francine at arm's length from us, it makes the film a frustrating experience.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Melissa Leo plays her without inflection, giving us no instructions about what our opinion should be. It is a brave performance, an act of empathy with a sad woman.

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Brent Simon

Caught up in its own self-satisfied metaphor, its blank canvas and broadly sketched melancholic tones an empty vessel for those who would automatically turn the personal into the political.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Francine portrays a woman on the socioeconomic margins and the sort of fiscal cliff that personalizes the phrase no politician can avoid these days.

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Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times

"Francine" is a small, detailed character study that never evolves into anything more.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Petered out the perhaps promise of a psychological study or horror flick, halfway through 'Francine' nothing is left.

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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader

Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, documentary makers trying their hand at drama, inspire a certain voyeuristic fascination toward the character but rarely sympathy.

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Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post

What with the unexciting hand-held camerawork, and the off-putting script and lead performance, "Francine" remains as frustrating as its inscrutable title character.

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Will McCord
Paste Magazine

Leo provides a seasoned, lived-in naturalism that is as rarely displayed on screen as it is potent.

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